Friday, July 21, 2017

Consciousness of Guilt

When the President's response to an investigation is:

1. To prepare alleged grounds for dismissing or at least organizing a campaign to discredit the special prosecutor

2.  To begin an analysis of exactly under what circumstances he can pardon his family and himself

we can pretty much abandon any pretense that the guy is not guilty.  These are the acts of criminals, not honest people.  Let's not have any dissembling about this any more.  The guy is guilty. The only question, and it is a big one, is where are we going to find a few honest Republicans who are willing to do the right thing and throw his ass in jail.  Sad to say, counting on that is a bad bet.

My guess? If he can't get away with firing Mueller, he has two fallback positions.  The lesser one, which I expect he will try first, is to have Jeff Sessions indict Hillary Clinton on some of the bogus, lying smears the Republicans have directed against her for years.  The uproar that would cause could easily blot out all other news for months, like the OJ trial or the Benghazi hatefest.  If the whole issue of Trump's treason had not died out by then, the next step would be a war against some hapless small country, possibly North Korea, or if Trump has the least rationality left, against someone totally helpless, like Ronald Reagan's targets of Nicaragua and Grenada.

Living in interesting times...not really that much fun after all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Talks City Planning

I won't bother to demolish Donald Trump's insane account of both Napoleon's and Hitler's invasion of Russia, from yesterday's interview; there are plenty of people handling that.  I will, as an architect, comment on his account of Napoleon's work in the city of Paris:

"What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” [garbled] The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes."

Donald, that was done by Baron Haussmann, who was commissioned by Napoleon III, who was the nephew of the Napoleon you are talking about.
One of Haussmann's boulevards in Paris

Why don't you keep your damned mouth shut about things that you know nothing about?  Of course, that would pretty well stop you from talking about anything, wouldn't it?  Hey, not a bad idea, really.

Please, John

I don't want to minimize the serious situation in which John McCain finds himself.  I've had people close to me die of cancer, and I know what that is like.  But I will tell you what I am thinking about this:  John McCain is a man who married a woman worth hundreds of millions of dollars (after dumping his first wife,) and who consequently has not a shred of worry about how to pay for his own care, nor does he have to make decisions about paying for his own treatment at the price of leaving his family destitute.

Please, John, take a little bit of time to put yourself outside of your own privileged situation, and think about all of the people in this country who have to face what you are facing, without a huge stash of money to pay for it.  Go back to the Senate and demand that this abomination be eliminated.  We now know, from the behavior of your fellow Republicans, that there is no way to guarantee this except by a single payer system, minimally just extending Medicare to everyone.  Spend what time you have left using your power to get that done, and you will go down in history alongside Franklin Delano Roosevelt, not Trump and McConnell and the other members of your party who will promote any evil if it benefits their backers.

Do the right thing, and die proud, John.  Think about it.

Bullying

Trump gave an unusually lunatic interview yesterday to the New York Times.  I don't want to deal very much with the substance of his comments (there really wasn't much,) but I do want to talk about what he is up to; something which continues to go unnoticed by almost everybody.

Trump's behavior, since his childhood, has revolved around bullying other people to get what he wants, which is a sense that he is not a degraded person.  The way this sick person convinces himself of his superiority is to force other, presumably inferior, people to do what he wants.  Now, he can't just beat on people any more, so he satisfies this sick need by making others go along with things he claims which they, he and everyone else know to be false.  When you understand this, you realize that the detachment of his claims from reality is not a defect but a feature.  This is because the whole point of his talk is not to seek the truth or push an ideology, but totally to humiliate those around him by forcing them to do what he wants even though it makes no sense.  So, when, for example, Daily Kos provides the following comment about the Times interview:

"That reporters Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman managed to keep their jaws off the floor of the Oval Office given the deluge of cray-cray and crapola Trump spewed is a testament to their professional skills."

they are in fact missing the whole point of Trump's behavior.  In fact, by doing this, these reporters are not showing class, but joining the host of people who have collapsed in the face of Trump's bullying, thereby reinforcing his sense that it works, and pushing the country one step closer to chaos.  They would only show some class by walking out on him, and stating in their newspaper that he is a pathetic, ignorant man who has been a total, weak, failure as President.  Of course, since mainstream journalism in the United States seems to have been totally detached from any notion of reporting the truth, that is not going to happen, and so the bully has one more day of having his abominable behavior rewarded instead of crushed.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fukushima...

Lest we forget, a little news about the situation in Fukushima, from Newsweek, via Yahoo:

"While much progress has been made to clean the area, the company has only just resolved the debate over what to do with the water that was used to cool the plant's damaged reactors, causing it to become tainted with tritium."

What to do...what to do...  Oh wait, I have an idea:

"Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), told foreign media that nearly 777,000 tons of water tainted with tritium, a byproduct of the nuclear process that is notoriously difficult to filter out of water, will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean"

Yeah, just dump it into the ocean.  That'll take care of the problem.

Nuclear energy-the power of the future.  If there is one.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Key To Getting Trump Impeached

You want to get Donald Trump and Mike Pence impeached?  Here is my surefire solution:  The Democrats need to mount a massively funded, furious campaign against Paul Ryan, using the Republicans' own tactics to portray him as the miserable moral monster that he is.  The minute that Ryan gets really afraid that he is going to lose his seat, the impeachment will begin immediately.

Bad Memory

I have to admit that it is strange that so many people are willing to listen to the Don Trump-Kushner account of their meeting with the lady Russian lawyer, discover that their story that it was all about saving the orphans (the most insipid lie I have ever heard) was false, and are willing to remember that this meeting was lied about and kept secret for months, and then as a final indignity, discover that they forgot to mention that there was an "ex" Russian intelligence officer also at the meeting, and still give the entire Trump administration one second of credibility.

Come on...this one episode has more wrongdoing than a thousand Benghazis.  But it's okay with a party that has adopted treason as their standard operating procedure.  I mean really, they forgot that there was a Russian spy in the meeting?

Life in prison for all of them, the "President" included.

Suicide

So, today's little piece of the Trump-Putin puzzle:

"A GOP donor and opposition researcher who said he tried to work with Russian hackers to retrieve deleted emails from a private server used by Hillary Clinton, has died in a suicide, according to public records cited in a Chicago Tribune report."

Suicide.  Of course it was.  Because any other explanation would be more the sort of thing that, say, Vladimir Putin goes in for, than something Trump would get up to.

Yet, already.  Or maybe not.  We report, you decide.

Guest of Honor

I understand that Donald Trump was the guest of honor at a Bastille day celebration while he was in France.  I was so disappointed to discover that he wasn't this kind of guest of honor:
I mean, come on, French guys, you had your chance.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Treason Is Okay

If you are a Republican.

Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post article from last December, in case you have forgotten about this:

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter...The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.

According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics."

You see, it's okay for a Republican to collaborate with our foreign enemies, as long as it's okay with other Republicans too; and as long as it's all in the service of getting tax cuts for rich people and screwing everyone else, it always is okay.

The problem with obsessing about Trump's treason and criminality is that it allows people to ignore the fact that every Republican on earth is just as corrupt and traitorous as Trump.  We have allowed a monster to grow in our country, and I don't see how we kill it at this point.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wingnut Wrapup- The Flood Continues

Whoo, back already.  They seem to need to be really shouting out their idiocies today.  I wonder why they're so active?

Ben Shapiro, Town Hall:  "What If There's No Trump-Putin Conspiracy?"

Yeah, and while we are on the subject, what if the moon doesn't exist?  What if Smurfs are real?  What if monkeys really can play the electric guitar?  Ben explains himself:

"Trump issued a series of tweets implying that he created a relationship of trust with Russian President Vladimir Putin... this looks rather suspicious, unless it turns out that pretty much every Trumpian scandal can be explained through a combination of Trump's ego and the incompetence of those around him."

See, even if he does go out on fifth avenue and start shooting people, he isn't guilty because he's just an incompetent egomaniac.  That explains everything, and makes it okay.  See, Trump could open our borders to an invading Russian horde and it would all be fine, because he's just incompetent.  Absolutely what we need in the White House.  Well, that's their story, and they are sticking to it.

So, time for the stupid right wing cartoon of the day:



What is that even supposed to mean?  That it is unacceptable for Democrats to look at the actions of the Trump administration?  That Donald Trump Jr. is just doing "opposition research" when he collaborates with the Russians to undercut the security of our elections?  That treason and reporting the truth are the same thing, as long as it's Republicans committing the treason?  Oh well, I guess we'll never know.

John Stossel, Town Hall:  "Stupid Hostile Media"

Well, just spit it right out there, John.  John continues:

"New York Times writers are so upset by Trump's rants against them that they act like he's a Venezuelan dictator who will shut them down. (Wait, don't Times socialists like Venezuelan dictators?)"

No, New York Times writers are upset by Trump acting like a Venezuelan dictator, or to be more accurate, a Russian dictator, something which is just fine with people like John, i.e. Republicans. And let's not move on before noticing John slipping in the preposterous lie that the people at the Times are socialists who love left wing dictators.

Brent Bozell, Town Hall:  "Remember Bill Clinton's Asiagate Scandal?"

No.

Jonah Goldberg, Town Hall:  "Charlie Gard's Fate Shouldn't Be Decided By the State"

Charlie Gard is the British baby that is so badly brain damaged that the English government does not want to pay millions to keep him alive for a few more months.  Notice that Jonah, like all right wingers, does not give a damn about the thousands of children who are going to die every year because our State, in the form of the Republican Congress, is deciding that they are just too expensive to keep alive, at least if rich people are going to get their tax cuts.

Bob Barr, Town Hall:  "Welcome to the Post-Factual World"

No welcome needed for readers of Wingnut Wrapup.  We've been visiting for years.

Brad Slager, Red State:  "Black Lives Matter Opposes Planet of the Apes"

Hang in there, Brad- you've got a real winner of an issue this time.

Loren Heal, Red State:  "Donald Trump Jr Met With The Russians And Oops I Just Yawned"

Nothing to see here, folks.  Just move on:

"It’s not that I don’t care about foreign influence on our elections. I do. It’s that I don’t believe there was any substantive effect on our election by Russia."

And I'm not going to believe it, either, no matter what happens, because I get paid not to believe it.

"Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the worst imaginings of anti-Trump Democrats and their Russia Narrative are all true:

Suppose that President Trump is a Russian spy...Suppose that the Russians hacked the election...What all of that would mean, collectively, is that Democrats, with the news organizations of the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and even ESPN carrying their water were bested by a foreign propaganda mill feeding stories to Facebook."

See, even if Trump committed the worst act of treason in the history of the United States, it would still be the fault of the Democrats and the news media.  Glad we got that straightened out.

Jim Jamitis, Red State:  "Am I The Only One Who Is Losing Faith In…Well…Everything?"

Everything, of course, except the allegation that the Republican party has nothing but the good of the nation at heart, and that the Democrats are vicious traitors.  No, Jim still believes that. It's always so inspiring to see someone sticking by their values.

"I’m inspired by Andrew Breitbart’s  book Righteous Indignation where he calls for tearing down the “Democrat-Media Complex.”

Oh, and he still has faith in Breitbart.  Glad to hear that.

Bridget Johnson, PJ Media:  "Ryan on Don Jr.'s Russia Meeting: Let Mueller Do His Job"

Translation into English:  We Congressional Republicans are just going to ignore the whole thing while we try to pass tax cuts for rich people.  If Muller comes up with anything, Trump can just fire him, and that will be that.

Debra Heine, Red State:  "Don Jr.'s Emails Show Poor Judgment — Not Evidence of Treason"

And hey, since when is a Republican disqualified from his office because of poor judgment?

Rick Moran, PJ Media:  "Donald Trump, Jr. Is the Dumbest Traitor in World History -- Or Not"

Hold your judgment on that one, Rick.  There's still a long time to go in this scandal.  Rick's explanation:

"Is he really that stupid? And are the Russians really so cruel that they would have approached one of the nominee's chief campaign advisers directly, with no buffer, no cutout, not even a scapegoat to protect such an important asset? What kind of a black op were the Russians running here?  None of this tracks."

Is a guy named Trump really stupid?  Are Russians really cruel?  Hey, who could believe that?  Now, time to get back to Hillary's e-mails, don't you think?

Charlie Martin, PJ Media:  "Where Do Japanese Babies Come From?"

Don't worry about that, Charlie.  We'll explain it to you when you are old enough.

Joshua Caplan, Gateway Pundit:  "Sign From Jesus? Technical Malfunction Occurs As Reporter Asks Pelosi If She’s ‘Holy’ 

Sign from Jesus?  Man, it sounds like Jesus is watching as much TV as Trump, if he caught that one.

John Solomon, The Hill:  "Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material"

Catch that part about "private memos?"  Now, apparently, it is against the law for the head of the FBI to write down what happened at a meeting he attended, even if he kept it private.  I guess the head of the FBI does not have a security clearance, so even telling himself something is a crime.

Elizabeth Nahas, American Thinker:  "As much as I am grateful for my evolution toward truth, the Left’s sound bites have increased exponentially. Consequently, many of us on the Right remain in the underground for fear of retribution. With a Republican President and Congress, why does this continue? The answer is simple: The Right’s image and messaging continues to be abysmal..."

Elizabeth, you forgot to note that the right's image is abysmal because the right is made up entirely of abysmal people.  Try stopping being disgusting human beings, and in a while, your image will improve, I promise you.  Give it a try and get back to me in a decade or two.

Jack Hellner, American Thinker:  "What counts as treason differs depending on the letter after your name"

You've got that right, Jack.  If you are a Republican, selling your country to a foreign dictator is not treason, while if you are a Democrat, well, treason consists in anything you do, really.  That's pretty much Jack's point, so we'll leave it at that.

Chuck Ross, Daily Caller:  "Maine Democratic Rep Makes Physical Threat Against 'Pu**y' Trump"

Huh?  Purry Trump?  Putty Trump?  I don't get it.  Oh well, no sense thinking about this too much.

Eric Owens, Daily Caller:  "Struggling College Splurges On $306 MILLION DORM"

I wonder if this story is because the "struggling college" is identified in the first sentence of this story as historically black?  How dare THEY spend money on a dorm?

"For perspective, the $306 million cost of the dorm is a few million more than the entire annual gross-domestic product of the island nation of Palau."

Whoo, that really is a lot!  Here is the picture that was run with this story:

Although the fact is never mentioned in the story, this is obviously not a new dormitory, but a palace somewhere in Europe.  The actual cost of the dorm, as reported by the college, is $7 million, in case you are so old fashioned as to care about the truth.  But I mean, if police are allowed to kill black people whenever they feel like it, why shouldn't Republicans be allowed to lie about them whenever they want?

Amber Athey, Daily Caller:  "Sen. Kennedy Has Wildly Unrealistic Expectations For The New FBI Director"

He wants him to be honest, and serious about pursuing crime.  I'll give Amber this: with Republicans in charge of confirming him, that is wildly unrealistic.

David Hookstead, Daily Caller:  "Here Is Video Proof Kim Kardashian Is An Idiot"

Well, glad you guys are breaking new ground in serious investigative journalism.

Amber Athey, Daily Caller:  "Trump Jr. Admits He 'Would Have Done Things A Little Differently' With Russian Lawyer Meeting"

Yeah, if he had known that he was going to get caught.

Michael Bastach, Daily Caller:  "Delaware-Sized Iceberg Breaks Free From Antarctica, But Don't Blame Global Warming"

No, don't do that!  Blame Obama.

Rich Lowry, Newsmax:  "China Not Poised to Assume Global Leadership"

Well, too bad, Rich, because your guy Trump is handing it to them on a golden platter.

Neil Urwitz, Newsmax:  "A Focused Trump Could Help His Press Secretaries Succeed"

You mean like if he focused on not sending them out to tell lies for him?  Don't hold your breath for that one, buddy.

And, God, enough, already.  Wingnuts have so much to shout down these days that I expect this garbage is going to be flowing like Niagara Falls for a while.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wingnut Wrapup- Special "There goes Trumpie" Edition

So you can predict what the Republicans are going to try to do to dodge having to deal with the monster they backed, but let's just see how many whiny excuses they have gotten up to in the last 24 hours, starting at the top:

Senator and Republican Elder Statesman Orrin Hatch:  "...all this stuff about Trump's sons and daughter -- it's a bunch of bunk..I don't think this is relevant to the Trump administration."

Bunk.  Bunk, I tell you. But how about going to an even higher authority?  And I'm not talking Hebrew National hot dogs here:

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "President Trump Defends Don Jr. Amid Email Scandal: My Son is a High Quality Person"

Maybe compared to yourself, Donald.

After that, we really don't need to hear from the run of the mill right wing assholes, but Green Eagle is going to plow on anyway:

Cortney O'Brien, Town Hall:  "Dems Insist Congress Must Investigate Trump Jr."

Only Dems, apparently.  Only Dems are concerned about treason or corruption.  Republicans, on the other hand?  Their chief issue is fantasy misuse of a pizza parlor.
Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Grassley Confirms: Yes, Comey's Memos He Shared With The Media Are Classified"

In Mordor, perhaps.  Not in this country, but they are so desperate for a distraction by this point, that any lie will do.

Lauretta Brown, Town Hall:  "Hillary Clinton Models ‘Nasty Woman’ Shirt to Raise Funds for Planned Parenthood"

Well, there you go, the Democratic equivalent of high treason.  Listen, the direction things are going, there is only one distraction left, short of starting a war with North Korea: throwing Hillary in prison and holding show trials.  So don't be surprised if it comes to that.  And how about another issue that is far more important than having a traitor in the White House:

Christine Rousselle, Town Hall:  "NYT Columnist Slammed For Condescending Take On Italian Deli Meat"

God, it's beyond jokes.  And now, all you need to know about things:

Todd Starnes, Town Hall:  "The Difference Between Trump and Obama"

This somehow centers around the fact that Trump once picked up someone's hat that had blown off, and Obama (who was not there at the time, of course) didn't.  No mention of the difference involved in the fact that Trump is a traitor and Obama isn't.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  " Is This the "Smoking Gun" the Collusion Chorus Has Been Waiting For?  If this email exists and is authentic, it may -- repeat, may -- represent the first evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign"

Sorry, Guy, this is about the fiftieth "smoking gun" in this story.  But don't worry; a couple of days and you will get your groove back and be going around telling everyone that it all means nothing.


Hey wait, it didn't take that long.  Guy is recovering by the end of his column:

"By the way, even if additional evidence emerges that this amounted to collusion, sordid and craven conduct isn't necessarily a crime."

Because we all know that "sordid and craven conduct" isn't enough to oppose the guy in the White House.  That's just standard operating practice for a Republican.  I mean, remember when he said he could shoot someone on fifth avenue and it wouldn't make a difference to his followers?  Well, mark that statement down, because it's the last known occasion on which Trump told the truth about anything.

Kimberley Ross, Red State:  "CRUZ: We Need to Work on Obamacare Repeal Instead of Take August Recess"

Sure, sure.  He's just afraid to show up at any town halls.

Charlie Martin, PJ Media:  "And They Claim TRUMP Is Collaborating With Russia?  The Washington Post and others are leaking material that is damaging the United States. Why isn't anyone mad about it?"

See, Trump committing abominable offenses is just fine.  Reporting that fact is "leaking."  Hint, Charlie:  When the press prints things, they are not "leaking."  They are "reporting."  A crime to you, I know, but actually something with a relatively long and honorable history in our country.

Charlie Martin, PJ Media:  "So what's the over/under for the first story saying Trump Jr. committed a crime by releasing the emails the New York Times was about to leak?"

Charlie, in the first place, that's like saying that you didn't murder someone because another person was about to murder them tomorrow.  In any event, dumbass, it's not releasing the e-mails is not the crime: it's the treason revealed by the e-mails.

And just to sum it all up:

PJ Media:  "Now Pundits Are Saying Don Jr. Russia Meeting Is 'Treason'?!?"

Yup.  That's pretty much the story.  Got a problem with that?

Tyler O'Neal, PJ Media:  "Politico Attacks Rubio for Tweeting Proverbs, the 'Most Republican Part of the Bible'

Hey, to my mind, the most Republican part of the Bible is Genesis 19, where Lot has sex with his own daughters.  It's just like living in Alabama.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "BOOM! Donald Trump Jr. Beats #FakeNews and Releases Entire Email Chain on Meeting Russian Lawyer"

He beats "fake news" by proving that they were absolutely right.  More evidence of why they call Jim the Stupidest Man On The Internet.  But Jim is not done being Stupid!

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "HILLARY COLLUSION: Campaign Set Up “Private, Off the Record” Meeting with Chinese Ambassador"

Jim forgot to mention that Hillary did not "collude" with the Chinese ambassador- the Chinese ambassador asked for the meeting, which Hillary did not attend.  Little different from Trump, huh, Jim?  No?  I didn't think you'd be able to grasp subtle reasoning like that.

Cristina Laila, Gateway Pundit:  "Hannity Goes Off on Team Hillary’s Collusion With Ukrainian Govt Officials: “Where’s the Outrage?” As TGP previously reported, Hillary Clinton’s aides met with Ukrainian government officials and journalists specifically to dig up dirt on team Trump."

See, Hillary "collaborated" with a country, the Ukraine, to publicize the fact that it had been invaded by a vicious foreign dictator who was allied with Trump.  That's sort of like the horrible time when FDR collaborated with France by letting people know that they had been invaded by Germany.  A vicious crime exactly the same as Trump's colluding with the aforementioned foreign dictator to rig our Presidential election.

Chip McLean, Renew America:  "Nancy-boy CNN now blackmailing private citizens over insults"

Nancy-boy.  Well, let's just lash out there.   And notice that identifying disgusting human beings in public is now blackmail.

Bob Unruh, World Net Daily:  "TRUMP JR. EMAIL SAGA IS 'ABSOLUTE GARBAGE CR-P'...'It's got all the ingredients of a story except fact'

Well, except the fact that they came right from the guy involved, Trump's son, who has never been known to make one step without permission from his daddy, except maybe to go off and kill some endangered animals.  But listen, Trump minions:  there is NO FACT there!  None at all!  Just keep repeating that to yourselves.

Larry Tomczak, World Net Daily:  "SUMMER OF LOVE?  Harmless music festivals? Anything but"

Yeah, I know I promised that this Wingnut Wrapup would be about Trump's treason, but who could pass that one up?  I don't want to get sidetracked here, so I will make an exception:  if you want to read a compendium of real right wing lunacy, just click on the link, and rock on, dude.

Ian Hanchett, Breitbart:  "…CNN LOL: ‘THIS IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE TREASON’…"

LOL.  Treason.  LOL.  I guess that puts this issue in context, say compared to Hillary's child-rape pizza parlor.

Aaron Klein, Breitbart:  "…ANALYSIS: NYT, WAPO DROP RUSSIA CONSPIRACY STORIES FOR MAX IMPACT"

Because if there is a sin in journalism, it's not lying and smearing- Breitbart's specialties by the way- but rather trying to get maximum attention to their stories.

Well, that's what they've come up with today.  I expect some even more preposterous attempts to evade the obvious truth in the next couple of days, but they're off to a flying start. So, just let me leave you with this observation from Dan Rather:

"only a hypocrite, a cynic or a fool could argue that this development can be innocuously explained."